Alarm.com, FrontPoint Security sued by iControl Networks for patent infringement

Company seeking damages and an injunction to prevent continued sell of products that allegedly infringe their patents


Home management solutions provider iControl Networks announced on Wednesday that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Alarm.com and one of its customers, FrontPoint Security Solutions.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia, seeks damages as well as an injunction to prevent Alarm.com and FrontPoint from continuing to sell products that allegedly infringe upon patents held by iControl.

"Intellectual property is crucial to the type of technology innovation that defines our company, and so we will do all we can to protect our most valuable assets," iControl CEO Bob Hagerty said in a statement. "As a pioneer in interactive home security, iControl has invested millions of dollars in research and development to bring to market the iControl OpenHome Software Platform."

The company claims that technology used in Alarm.com’s interactive home security system infringes on up to six of iControl’s patents. These include: United States Patent Nos. 7,911, 341 (“Method for Defining and Implementing Alarm/Notification by Exception), 7,262,690 (“Method and System for Monitoring Events), 8,073,931 (Networked Touchscreen with Integrated Interfaces), 8,335,842 (“Premises Management Networking”), 8,473,619 (“Security Network Integrated with Premise Security System”), and 8,478,844 (“Forming a Security Network Including Integrated Security System Components and Network Devices”).

According to the complaint, FrontPoint approached iControl in 2007 about licensing its technology. After FrontPoint entered into a non-disclosure agreement with iControl, the complaint says the two parties entered into a series of technical and business discussions. In July 2007, iControl says it provided FrontPoint with a demonstration of its server management tools and infrastructure that the company could use to manage the Z-Wave communications protocol and GE Security-based systems in the field. At this demonstration, the complaint says FrontPoint was exposed to iControl’s proprietary tools and architecture regarding the use of server objects to manage security or Z-Wave devices in the home. Later that month, iControl says that it also introduced FrontPoint to a new interactive touchscreen that it was developing in conjunction with GE Security. In November of that year, however, the complaint says FrontPoint informed iControl that it would be partnering with Alarm.com for "basic wireless security functionality." Click here to download a full copy of the complaint (PDF 675 KB).

iControl executives were not available for further comment on the lawsuit, but did issue a statement through a spokeswoman: "Today we filed a lawsuit against Alarm.com and FrontPoint Security Solutions to stop them from infringing on six of our patents broadly covering our interactive home security technology,” the company said in the statement. “We were the first to develop and patent these technologies, and have spent millions of dollars and countless engineering hours developing our intellectual property, and we will vigorously protect our innovation, investment and future."

iControl’s investors include ADT, Comcast, Rogers Communications, Comporium, Charles River Ventures, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers iFund, and Intel Capital.  

Alarm.com also issued statement regarding the lawsuit through a spokesman: "Alarm.com has not yet reviewed the claim and we have no specific comments at this time," the company said.  "For the past 13 years, Alarm.com has pioneered the creation of interactive and connected home products and services, and continues to lead the market with new and novel technologies.  We will vigorously defend this history of innovation and our intellectual property."

Attempts to reach FrontPoint were not immediately successful.